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Kami
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Kami
 
[VE-ARMY] 1st Wiggler
[VE-DJO] Krath Pontifex
[VE-ICS] Pirate Lord
[VE-VEMC] 2nd Lieutenant
 
Post Number:  1873
Total Posts:  1883
Joined:  Mar 2004
Status:  Offline
  Hoist the Colors
November 12, 2016 2:07:51 AM    View the profile of Kami 
The sinking sun kissed the horizon and bathed the ship sitting on the open plain in a swath of ultraviolet. The dying light revealed a hull littered with rusted silver plating, a bent satellite aerial, and a raised cockpit dwarfed on all sides by towering orange crops.

Dark figures moved between the crops and a heavy automated lifter perched beneath the ship's belly. Two humans, dressed in fitted black from head to toe, stuffed great armfuls of freshly cut stems into the clamps of the lifter. A diminutive Ryn perched at the controls, bright yellow eyes narrowed in focus, deftly manoeuvred the bounty into silver boxes stamped with the black symbol of a broken skull.

One of the humans paused to run her fingers through a mane of sweat streaked hair. Once jet black, the strands were now sprinkled with flashes of silver, though the face beneath showed few signs of weathering.

Kami Sharpe, former Imperial loyalist, soldier, and politician, flicked bright green eyes to the man who laboured on amongst the waving crops.

"This heat is killing me," she admitted.

Angel let out a grunt of agreement, his muscled arms slicked with his own sweat. He turned and cracked the glowing vibroblade in his hand into another thick stem. Sticky sap patterned the soil before another broad stroke swept the plant free of its roots.

Kami dragged a hand across the hollow of her throat and up the left side of her neck, nails hovering over the tattooed shadow of the broken skull. A flicker of movement at the top of the ramp of the Zephyr drew her gaze.

Another woman stood there, her blonde hair highlighted by the flashing red lights of the lifter. Younger than Kami by almost two decades, the tangled awkwardness of Trix had vanished in the bloom of puberty.

"Felucian authorities know we're here," she called out. "ETA five minutes."

Kami felt the weight of the crew's eyes as they settled on her. She stooped, slung the still weeping stem into her arms, and gestured with a tilt of her chin.

"Then it's time for us to go. Dez, pack it up."

The Ryn waited until Kami deposited the last of the nysillin crop into the lifter's arms before dropping the crate's heavy lid into place. There was a hiss as the precious cargo sealed, then a whir of machinery as the lifter folded back in on itself and slid back into the hangar.

"May want someone on the guns," Deznim mused as he dropped lightly to the ground and followed the others up the ramp into the interior of the Zephyr. "I don't think they factored brigands into their profit margins."

"Allow me," Angel threw a wink in Kami's direction and peeled off a side corridor.

Kami turned to Trix, "Careful taking us out as I don't know how well those new stabilisers -"

The comlink snapped to her holster vibrated and cut her off short. Irritated, Kami slapped it off. "Like I -"

The comlink buzzed again, more insistently.

Deznim let out an exasperated trill through his beaked nose. "Me and the girl have this, take the call."

Kami swore and waved a hand in defeat. The two veered off to the right and vanished into the cockpit. Kami span in place and started back towards the hangar, boots heels clicking on the metal walkway. As she walked the engines hummed beneath her feet, loose panels vibrating and rattling as the Z roared to life. There was a gentle lurch, followed by a sense of pressure, and Kami knew they were in the air and cutting towards the atmosphere.

The link buzzed again as Kami ducked into her office. It was cramped space, barely two by two meters wide, with a sleek black desk, a screen and a chair. Two curved Kuati blades were mounted on a simple wooden block attached to the wall.

She dropped into a chair and the screen flickered to life. A woman's face immediately appeared, eyes focused on something off-screen, ebony skin gleaming under the lights of a ship bridge.

"Visha," Kami said by way of greeting.

"Sharpe," Visha passed something to an offsider before shifting her shoulders and facing her fully. "Where are you?"

"Outer rim," Kami answered. The ship rocked violently for a moment, shields whirring as the starboard side was struck with an enemy barrage. The rocking settled as the deep boom of the Z's ion cannon sounded.

Visha didn't bother to raise an eyebrow. "He wants you."

Kami pulled in a deep breath, held it, then released it through her nose. "How drunk is he?"

The other woman twitched a shoulder in an approximation of a shrug and Kami read between the lines. Impossible to tell, for when was the King sober?

"I have to make a drop," Kami said, as the Z lurched again. There was a screech in the background as something crashed to the floor.

"Understood," Visha's face remained impassive. "Who will you bring?"

Kami hesitated before replying. Angel was happy, they were happy, for the first time since the shattering of the Vast Empire. It was far too much to risk on a drunken whim, even despite her pledge of loyalty to the black flag.

She cleared her throat, "Just me."

Visha nodded again. Efficient. Professional. The antithesis of the madman she served and a mirror of the woman hurtling through the skies of Felucia with death in pursuit. Were it not for Kami's relentless ambition the two may have been friends.

"Report in when you arrive," she said, and cut the connection.

Kami pulled in another deep breath.

It was time for a difficult conversation.
|| Retired ||
[LoR][CoR][IG][GCA][BC][BM][CDS][EW][ES][GRP][GS]
------------------------
|| Krath Pontifex || Krath Order ||
DLoK/KP Kami Sharpe/Krath/Shades/Raven L-01/Dark Jedi Order/Vast Empire [PO]
------------------------
Imperial Network Star Wars Image
[This message has been edited by Kami (edited November 12, 2016 2:18:19 AM)]
[This message has been edited by Kami (edited November 12, 2016 2:22:12 AM)]
[This message has been edited by Kami (edited November 12, 2016 3:49:17 AM)]
Mongrel
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Mongrel
 
[VE-ARMY] Lance Corporal
[VE-DJO] Journeyman
 
Post Number:  209
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 13, 2016 1:44:52 AM    View the profile of Mongrel 
Pale grey eyes looked to the ceiling from behind matted grey hair. In the muddy dark, nothing could be seen, but the pale eyes stared up anyway. Snipes lay in dirty sheets, on a dirty bed, numb to the filth and the pain. He lay like that hours, neither thinking anything nor doing anything. Inaction had become his primary form of action.

When the lights turned themselves on and warning klaxons wailed from his console, he groaned and closed his eyes.  He hadn’t slept, he barely did anymore. He rolled over onto his side and pushed himself up. Joints popped, creaked and made noises best described as ‘bubbling”. A lifetime of fighting left his body internally and externally scarred. He pulled a filthy shirt off the ground and wrestled it over his head. It and the pants he’d slept in were the beginning and end of his preparations for his day.

The floor was covered in filthy clothes and sheets, empty liquor bottles and dirty plates of food. In one corner a rusted cutlass sat neglected, and draped over the back of chair was a cracking leather holster, on the ground below it was a shot shotgun that had slipped out and been half covered by a boot, three separate socks, and a misplaced hydrospanner.

Snipes kicked several of the empty bottles before finding one that still had something in it. He picked it up, took a swig of the liquor to ease what was either the effects of a hangover or old age. He couldn’t remember which were which. He stumbled, still trying to blink the light out of his eyes, into the passageway. The Corellian Hound was probably the only ship left in the main Osk fleet that was kept clean and professional. Two of the crew, in their blue and grey, were scrubbing a wall, their jackets open. They ignored him as he walked by. Even the looks of contempt had passed. Snipes barely even noticed them. The only things he cared about was the fuzzy feeling in his head and his stumbling footsteps as his bare feet slapped against the deck.

The door to the bridge opened and Snipes walked in. He ignored the steady, measured activity of the crew and flopped into his throne. It squeaked under his weight.

“We’re near, I assume,” Snipes said, taking a drink.

“Roger,” Visha said, “I’ve also reached out to the Pirate Lords.”

“Ah, good, good,” Snipes took a pull from the bottle and ignored the liquid flowing down his beard and onto his chest.
Hyperspace twisted around them as they lapped back into silence. Sound faded from Snipes mind as he attempted, half-heartedly, to focus. There was about to be a lot of work to do, and he needed to be around to see it done.

The blue spiral of hyperspace disappeared in an instant, with no warning Snipes had heard and they were in real space again. The endless night, with its small dots of light that, to him, seemed to be only fading with time. A million million candles slowly, ever so slowly, extinguishing. He felt very tired.

The Hound sped through the night sky, and while at first it had just seemed one of many small bits of light, in front of them grew a Star Destroyer. A big one, but missing much of its hull. Smaller ships buzzed around it, landing in the damaged sections or the hanger. The engines of the Star Destroyer barely even glowing as it drifted, homeless, through the black between the worlds.
Bitch! I eat people.
-Alucard (abridged)
Kami
ComNet Expert
 
Kami
 
[VE-ARMY] 1st Wiggler
[VE-DJO] Krath Pontifex
[VE-ICS] Pirate Lord
[VE-VEMC] 2nd Lieutenant
 
Post Number:  1874
Total Posts:  1883
Joined:  Mar 2004
Status:  Offline
  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 14, 2016 6:23:15 AM    View the profile of Kami 
Kami watched the derelict star destroyer rapidly expand through the viewport of her transport. It seemed an appropriate setting for a meeting with the mad King. A gleaming symbol of the might of a military empire, now home to a swarm of carrion slowly consuming the vessel from the inside out. 

"Will be down in a minute," the Weequay pilot informed her from behind the controls. "You can wait at the ramp if you like."

Kami nodded her thanks and turned to leave. She paused in the entryway of the cockpit to eye the distorted reflection on a nearby panel. Still dressed in fitted black, Kami had traded her working flats for knee-high officer boots, her tools for a leather holster that snapped a heavy blaster to each thigh, and the grease across her nose for a slick of makeup. Were it not for the unbound hair spilling down to her lower back she could have passed as an Imperial officer.

Her mind recoiled at the thought, repressed memory threatening to flash to the fore, and Kami quickly averted her gaze.

All that matters is the here and now.

The transport settled into the belly of the destroyer within the minute as promised. Kami stalked down the ramp as it extended beneath her feet and into the frigid cold of the hangar. The vast landscape of space at her back, held back by a flimsy magnetic shield, draped the fleet littered across the floor into stark contrast. Half a dozen laser-scarred headhunters, several YT light freighters in various states of disrepair, and a looming red and white Corvette - either the Last Chance or the Dead Man's Hand.

At the very rear of the hangar, chassis positively gleaming, sat the Hound. The King's flagship was a veritable hive of activity. Oskers were walking about with cargo in hand, cleaning weaponry, or engaging in dice and drink when it appeared as though no one of any clout was watching.

As Kami neared the Hound she became aware of the heavily armoured men lounging about at the base of the ramp. Half of the men were roaring in laughter at one of their number, a dark haired human man who was gesturing wildly towards his crotch. The other half were sharing a stogie in a loose ring near the entrance of the ship.

The leader stepped forward and blew out a cloud of smoke as Kami approached him. It took a moment for her to place his face, despite the gaping mass of scar tissue that formed the man's right eye. Felix Rye. A gambler and serial flirt. Rye had once been small fry, cunning enough to keep his head, thick enough to mouth away half of his face.

"Tell me 'darlin," he drawled. "Are you a vision? Because I ain't seen a hide or hair of the real Sharpe for over a year."

Kami flashed Rye a smile that was all teeth. "Depends Felix. Would the real Sharpe tell you that you have a bag of smashed ass for a face?"

Rye let out a harsh bark of laughter. "She'd be the only one to pull air after a line like that." he said, secure enough with enough muscled flesh at his back. He pulled in another drag of the stogie and eyeballed her. "Do you know what's up?"

"With the job?" Kami said. Prompted by the cautious tone of man, she guessed again. "Or the boss?"

A shadow flickered over Rye's craggy features and Kami had her answer.

"If it involves coin," Kami pushed on, sensitive to the ears surrounding the pair. "Don't much care."

"Yeah," Gavin said slowly. "Sure."

A second stretched. Followed by another. Finally Rye shifted his mass to one side, his men following his lead a second later.

Kami buried her irritation and kept her face impassive as she strode past. As she continued into the Hound a frown marred the skin between her brows. Low morale wasn't unusual in the life of the corsair, particularly when the losses came as often as the wins. But this was something different. Something more sinister when men who preyed on weakness were involved.

The King would see her.

One way or another.
|| Retired ||
[LoR][CoR][IG][GCA][BC][BM][CDS][EW][ES][GRP][GS]
------------------------
|| Krath Pontifex || Krath Order ||
DLoK/KP Kami Sharpe/Krath/Shades/Raven L-01/Dark Jedi Order/Vast Empire [PO]
------------------------
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Inso
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Inso
 
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 15, 2016 12:47:13 AM    View the profile of Inso 
If Kami Sharpe though Rye had a face like a smashed ass she was in for quite the shock...

Inso Khel fidgeted with his hands. That was often the way. Even since he had been an infant he needed something to keep his hands occupied. It was much worse when he was nervous.

Perching his rump against a flat rock he continued to wait. Just as he had been doing for the past three hours. The oppressive heat of the binary stars was becoming unbearable. The atmosphere was breathable on this arid world, with its imaginative name of 2vcx-p, but that was as hospitable as it became. He'd seen some signs of settlements long abandoned on his way down. No point checking them for loot, the settlement of this world had been abandoned a few millennia ago. He would, however, scan for any potential pirate stashes on his way out.

His partner should have been here two hours ago and his buyers one. It was almost as if someone was leaving him sweltering on purpose. Inso's fingers increased the cadence of their nervous dance.



"Khel!"

Inso looked up to see his duros partner, Kessick, round and outcrop. He was carrying his long blaster over his shoulders, but let it drop to hang at his side. Kessick wouldn't see that Inso's wide, inky black eyes followed the weapon intently.

"[Where is the buyer?]" Inso asked. Galactic basic did not come easily to his kind, so he spoke in his native tongue.

"Indisposed. I've changed the plan." Kessick attempted to look casual, but he was too obviously scanning their surroundings.

“[Care to share it? These are marked goods, not easy to sell. The IGBC get word of this and we'll be dead men.]”

“De’sit says he can pay double.”

“[He's a liar and a fraud and I won't sell to him.]” Inso spat back. That hot streak of rage, so common to his species, coloured his tone.

“Double for me then,” Kessick replied, heating his rifle up to hold in two hands. The duros was by far the better shot, Inso didn't stand a real chance at any distance.

Inso shook his head. The aqualish equivalent of a sigh hissed through his tusks. The sand before Kessick’s feet started to move. Sand erupted from the ground, showering in all directions. The small fist-sized drone hovered for a fraction of a second before firing a string of bolts that cut Kessick down where he stood.

Inso crossed the space between them in four long strides before administering several kicks to the corpse until his anger was sated. Now he had marked goods he couldn't sell, a quarter of a fuel tank on his ship and a dead partner. Inso wasn't a skilled pirate, a brave aqualish or even a particularly bright individual. However, he was very suspicious.

And he was going to need a job.
Inso Khel
Pirate
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[This message has been edited by Inso (edited November 15, 2016 12:48:49 AM)]
Jegora
ComNet Disciple
 
Jegora
 
[VE-ARMY] Brigadier General
[VE-DJO] Sith Vitiator
[VE-ICS] Pirate Lord
[VE-NAVY] Ensign
[VE-VEHC] Brigadier General*
 
Post Number:  2155
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 16, 2016 10:03:00 PM    View the profile of Jegora 
It took him a long time to figure out where the noise was coming from.

He ended up having to tear his quarters apart, but eventually he found the long-forgotten comlink buried in a drawer under a pile of junk he hadn’t touched in years. It was chirping faintly, its power pack almost depleted, but the alarm was unceasing. It was clear that someone wanted to get in touch with him very badly indeed, for the comlink continued to chirp off and on for several days while he studiously ignored it. Someone clearly wanted to find him.

The only problem was he was pretty sure he didn’t want to be found.

The comlink was an artifact from another life, another time. He had kept it mainly for sentimental reasons, unwilling or unable to dispose of this last physical and metaphorical link to his past, but now he realized his mistake. As it chirped at him incessantly, its soft beeping at odds with the dull sense of dread that settled deep in his chest, he found himself wishing fervently that he had thrown it out an airlock years ago.

Eventually he was driven to action. Late one night after his shift he sat in the small room he referred to as his “quarters” simply staring at the softly beeping communicator. Then, without conscious thought, he reached forward and touched the button gently, holding his breath for what came next.

“Finally,” a female voice said, filling the room. “I’ve been trying to reach you for days.”

He struggled for a minute to put a face to the voice, but when he finally made the connection his shoulders slumped in defeat.

“Visha,” he responded after a long moment, his voice little more than a dry rasp. He gathered what was left of his courage. “I’m guessing this isn’t a social call?”

The voice on the other end of the communicator grunted, which he knew was as good as a laugh from anyone else.

“If I had my way you would have stayed lost,” Visha retorted, and he knew then that what he had feared for years had finally come to pass.

“The debt is come due, Jegora Fal,” Visha intoned formally. “Your presence is…requested.”

The communicator clicked off, but Jegora didn’t notice. His head was in his hands and tears were on his cheeks as he wept for what he had already lost and for what he knew was coming next.
Jegora Fal

Dark Lord of the Sith
Sith Vitiator

DLoS | SVT Jegora | Marauders | Eagle | Sith | VEDJ | VE  [SoY] [KC:1]


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Mongrel
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Mongrel
 
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Post Number:  210
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 17, 2016 2:08:58 AM    View the profile of Mongrel 
“Kami!” Snipes yelled, “favorite of all my friends!”

Visha snorted.

“King.” Kami replied.

“I have a plan!” Snipes spread his arms wide and smiled.

Nobody looked impressed. Snipes didn’t care. Snipes was gesturing from where he was laying, across the arms of his throne on the bridge of Corellian Hound. Visha stood by at at ease. She, as usual, wasn’t smiling. Where oh where had he gone wrong with her, not that she wasn’t a great captain, but her sense of humor, it needed some work.

Snipes poured himself onto the durasteel floor and stood up. Dirty feet, well encrusted with neglect, propelled him forward.

“Kams, walk with me,” He said, waving the quickly depleting bottle over his head.

“Where are we going?”

“To meet a friend!” Snipes yelled the last word.

He walked, dirty feet slapping on the durasteel and him weaving, occasionally using walls for support. Stumbling out of the Hound, Snipes had to catch himself on his guards. He couldn’t remember any of their names, they were no Kelevra, no Corlie. Who were these people.

“Snipes! What kind of friends? What the hell?”

“You’ll see!” Snipes yelled back.

Snipes made his way to a small closed airspeeder near the edge of the improvised hanger. It was rusty, and even at idle one of the engines smoked. Nobody paid it much mind, lined up with five other speeders of varying models and levels of neglect. The seat was more spring than anything else, but Snipes couldn’t feel it.

“C’mon, Kams. We’re heading to the bridge.”

“In a speeder?”

Snipes laughed, “Well it’s quicker than walking.”

Kami climbed in, hesitantly, but Snipes had to give it to her, she actually did.

The speeder, after the weequay driver yelled at it and slapped in a bit, shot out through the mostly missing hull of the Star Destroyer. It was terrifying, or perhaps it should have been, because Snipes mostly laid back in his seat with lids closed and giggled a little at the way the speeder moved and pushed him into the seat. Space, space was interesting and the time between the broken hull improvised hanger and the broken bridge was a lot of stars and ships and Snipes was falling asleep.

The speeder landed. Snipes survived. Kami was irritated. It took them a minute to wake him up. The bridge of a Star Destroyer was, never, interesting. It was just metal and consoles. The viewports didn’t even have a real purpose. At the range of a Star Destroyer, at cosmic scales, it was completely useless. The standard turbolaser had greater range than most sentient eyes.
“Kami, This is Captain Edward Fuckwhistle Snark. He’s a bastard.”

As they stepped onto the bridge, the functional one anyway, Snipes pointed to a small Trandoshan. Fuckwhistle was Snipes embellishment, but Captain Edward Snark ran the Star Destroyer. It was ship.

“Again with you.” He growled.

“Me!” Snipes yelled.

“Get off my ship.”

“Wait, I have a plan, and ships,” Snipes said, holding his hands up.

“Kami! Talk person,” Snipes drooled a little, “We have a way to find parts for your stupid broken ship.”

Do Transdoshans laugh? What does it sound like? Fuckwhistle made the sound real. Didn’t make it anymore easier to describe.

“You fix it, and we’re yours.” Snark said.

Snipes looked at Kami, “Told you I had a plan.”
Bitch! I eat people.
-Alucard (abridged)
Inso
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Inso
 
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 17, 2016 2:56:56 AM    View the profile of Inso 
A twi’lek with eyes that darted about made the mistake of holding his line. His shoulder bumped into Inso as they passed each other on the narrow corridor. The aqualish stopped his three-fingered hands from fidgeting and put them to good use. His far hand swung about as he pivoted, grabbing the twi'lek by the shoulder and yanking him back.

Placing two hands on the offending man's shirt, Inso dropped his weight and marched forwards.

“Excuse me.”

“Watch it.”

“Careful!”

Other delinquents inhabiting cargo bay besh seven complained as Inso drove forwards until the twi'lek was pinned to the against the bulkhead.

“[Watch where you walk,]” Inso growled. His gut was a maelstrom of emotions. The initial instinctive, aggressive response tempered by the concern that this one might have a few friends in the vicinity. Inso had run out of friends and allies. For an aqualish he was a careful sort with a nervous disposition. But even the most placid aqualish had a wide streak of rage that could never be buried far beneath the surface.

“I don't understand your guttural growls, sorry. Now take your hands off me.”

That settled it. Inso made a show of relinquishing his hold, hands held wide. His wide eyes caught a glint of durasteel from the twi'lek’s hand. Inso brought his knee up hard. All the air left the twi'lek's lungs in one bark and a small blade clattered to the deck. He struck over and over with fists, knees and eventually the boot of his heel.

Sated, he shrugged his shoulders and turned back into the crowd.
Inso Khel
Pirate
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Kami
ComNet Expert
 
Kami
 
[VE-ARMY] 1st Wiggler
[VE-DJO] Krath Pontifex
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Post Number:  1875
Total Posts:  1883
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 17, 2016 5:23:16 AM    View the profile of Kami 
Kami opened her mouth. Shut it again. Started to raise a hand to pinch the bridge of her nose, thought better of it, and let it flop to her side.

"Right," Kami's voice sounded strangely flat to her own ears. "Let me see if I have this right."

She flicked her gaze to the trandoshan. "Your name is Edward."

"Fuckwhistle," Snipes slurred at her back.

Kami ignored him, made a point of holding the lizard's eyes until he flashed a mouthful of teeth in the equivalent of a grin.

"Edward," Kami paused. Forced herself to pull in a breath. "Edward owns this Star Destroyer."

"Owns is a strong word..." Edward interjected with a guttural growl.

Kami stabbed a finger at him. "Shut the fuck up."

Edward clapped his trap closed.

"And you," Kami turned woodenly towards the King. "You want Edward's Star Destroyer. Edward's unmanned and completely dysfunctional Star Destroyer."

She paused. A strained silence settled over the bridge. Someone let out a nervous cough.

"Would you," she said, each word clipped. "Or would you not, say that's an accurate summary of the situation?"

The King swayed violently in the centre of the room. He glanced around, only belatedly realising that every single person on the bridge had scuttled away as Kami spoke. He loosed a grunt, pulled a long draught from the ever present bottle clutched in his hand, and offered Kami a sloppy grin. "Have you seen the guns on this thing?"

Kami felt her left eye begin to twitch. Her brain was having a meltdown trying to process the awe-inducing clusterfuck of a plan.

Where has the Destroyer come from? What faction would Osk answer to when they discovered its location? How could they source replacement components from active Destroyers and Imperial shipyards? How could they survive sourcing replacement components from active Destroyers and Imperial shipyards? How would they even transport the replacement parts? How could they transport the replacement parts and evade any pursuit? Could a mob of drunk, high and intellectually challenged pirates even fix and crew a Destroyer? Where would they source the cash flow to maintain and stock a Destroyer? What would be the ramifications of parading a giant floating fortress around with an Osk skull painted on the side?

...and who the fuck was Edward?

Kami pulled in another deep breath. Her twitching eye picked up speed.

With a lurch she crossed the bridge, closing the distance between her and the King in an instant. To his credit he didn't flinch. Just continued to sway, head lolling, bloodshot eyes fixed on the woman who had served for years as his right hand.

Up close it was clear just how much the King had aged in the time she had been absent. Deep grooves marred the corners of his mouth, slashing down into a beard salted with silver. His hair hung in lanky clumps around jutting cheekbones. His flamboyant jacket was tattered, the white cuffs stained a steaming yellow.

Kami stared at the man before her, frozen between affection and white hot rage.

He freed me.

And he damned me.


"Give me," Kami said, the words emerging as a croak. "The bloody bottle."

The King complied.

The rum was lukewarm and painfully sweet. It washed over Kami's lips and swollen tongue. Sloshed a fiery trail down her throat and into the pit of her belly.

When she lowered the bottle the King was grinning again, unbridled joy reflected in his unfocused gaze.

"We fly?" He asked.

The taste of the devil's drink was strong. Candied molasses. Creamy vanilla. And beneath it all...an explosion of spice that seared away all traces of the mundane.

She'd tried controlling it. Avoiding it. Running away from it.

And it still tasted so, so sweet.

The corner of Kami's mouth quirked. "We fly."
|| Retired ||
[LoR][CoR][IG][GCA][BC][BM][CDS][EW][ES][GRP][GS]
------------------------
|| Krath Pontifex || Krath Order ||
DLoK/KP Kami Sharpe/Krath/Shades/Raven L-01/Dark Jedi Order/Vast Empire [PO]
------------------------
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Inso
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Inso
 
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 17, 2016 6:27:36 AM    View the profile of Inso 
The fact that he was on a decrepit star destroyer run by criminals made him nervous. It wasn’t as if he could carry EVA gear around with him. Nor would he have time if – as he suspected was likely – the hulls ruptured from a lack of maintenance to get into a suit sealed against the vacuum. On the way in he’d noted a breach in the outer hull and the lunatics were using it to land ships.

Sure, a sudden drop of one atmosphere wasn’t enough to make him explode. Inso wasn’t the brightest, but he was a spacer born and bred, not some planet-bound civilian. He knew what could go wrong on a ship. There would certainly be some sections sealed off with fields alone. Just a wayward power fluctuation would lead him to a rather agonising death.

At times he found flying into a rage blessed relief. They were about the only times he could clear his head of anxieties. Maybe that’s why the aqualish had evolved with such an angry streak? Was this just a fraction of what other species went through?

Inso shook his head and tried to focus. He barely had enough fuel to get off this ship. Half the reason he was here was that he didn’t actually have enough left to escape the atmosphere of a gravitational body. High risk, high reward. That’s what the message had stated.

People were still giving him space as he walked towards an alcove in the side of the cargo bay. Space was at a premium on military ships. Corridors were tight and dark. On a ship this size the underworld seemed to have stuck to colonising the cargo bays and storage areas. This particular alcove must have been a side room for keeping containers. There was still an empty one in the corner. Likely for storing booze on account of the fact that this had been turned into a makeshift bar.

“Khel?”

He turned to follow the voice. A rugged, dirty pirate sat with two of his comrades. There were four drinks on the table. That was good, saved him a credit chit; he had precious few remaining.

“[That’s me.]” He was immediately repeated in basic by the togruta companion. Clearly he knew the language.

“Have a drink.” Inso didn’t need telling twice. “Heard you had a string of bad luck, but p’raps was meant to be. See, we’re needing some guns for a job. Pirate King has something big in mind. Sure we’ve got the meat for it, but we need a few more experienced hands to point ‘em in the right direction. Sergeants if you like. Keep the meat running in the right direction. Shoot the ones who get notions of cowardice, that kind of thing?”

Inso nodded. He did get it. It was low work, even for him. Stand behind a group of conscripted pirates and prisoners and herd them in the right direction. Soften up whatever this ‘King’ had in mind for a target before the real guns finished the job.

“[What’s the target and what’s the pay?]” he asked.

An old industrial datapad was slid in front of him. If his eyes could widen they would have done. An imperial construction yard.

“[Is this right?]”

There was some slow nodding.
Inso Khel
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Eviscares
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 17, 2016 6:51:50 AM    View the profile of Eviscares 
No such thing as a free lunch…
He had known that his dealings with pirates to get smuggled across known space would bite him in the arse later.
Their gall had to be admired though. He had always thought that messages pinned to doors with knifes were something reserved for the vids. But apparently the pirates hadn’t gotten that particular memo.
“Come to docking bay 13, unarmed. You still owe us.”, read the scribbled note. Even more haphazardly someone had added some vital information:”Tomorrow morning, 0800 local time.”
Sighing he plucked the knife and the note out of the door and entered the small hab unit that was his office and appartment.
The lights of the entertainment district cast stark multicolored streaks through the half open blinds. Evis went past carefully placed photos of his military career, hung there to invoke the trust of his clients.
“Private Security Consultant”, as he now styled himself was of course only a fancy term for a bodyguard, but at least he could pay his bills again, even after his Businessventure with snipes had floundered.
Taking off his businesslike working attire he started to prepare a mental checklist for tomorrow. Unarmed they had written, but he knew, that they knew, that this wasn’t in the cards. Still nice of them to act as if it was.

Stepping off the hired transport he entered docking bay 13 at the local space port. Seriously… thirteen, pirates with their godawful flair for the dramatic. The three goons that greeted him gave him the usual pirate treatment. Gruff, handsy and reeking of cheap booze. That would’ve been ok, seeing that he had kind of expected it. The hood they put over his head to blind him came as a surprise though. Seeing as anything in the vein of protest would only result in a couple of punches to the stomach he played along.
They led him to a ship, talking and joking along the way, and soon they were underway.

The trip itself was uneventful. They had left orbit, and quickly transitioned to hyperspace, which hadn’t really come as a surprise. That no one would answer him where they were going, hadn’t come as a surprise either. Soon after their transition into realspace they had docked on something.

As the hood came off he looked around. To his surprise it was a hangar. Old Republic or early imperial. Most probably a capital ship. But from the look of it, and the slight flux in the grav field, it was old, broken, and hadn’t undergone maintenance in forever. New goons had replaced the old ones, and these pushed him along to the bridge. At least one question got answered along the way because one of them had said:”The King wants to see you.”, and Evis had almost pissed himself. Pirate Kings… That sounded ominous and dangerous, and not in the nice, clean, battlefield way.

As they entered the Ships bridge he could not really decide whether to be awed or disappointed. The Pirate King had his back to him, standing next to a woman, one of his lieutenants most probably. He had long gray hair, meaning he was old. Which was worrisome in such a dangerous profession, but also meant that he could probably take him if he had to. But then, as the king and his lieutenant turned his heart stopped for a moment. Sure they were older, sure the Kings face was marred by alcohol abuse, and the woman had been a lot younger when he last saw her, but he knew them. Knew them both.

It took Sharpe about ten milliseconds to realize who was standing at the other end of the bridge, another five to catch her dropping jaw, and ten more to cross the full length and be in his face. He couldn’t say a word before the fist hit him, in the stomach, followed by a knee to his forehead when he hunched over.

“How do you dare, bringing a dead mans face onto his bridge”, she snarled while he fell, and in reply Eviscares could only wheeze:”Surprise…”
Jester Squad
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Relax, I don't want your baby
I already ate

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TR/SGT_Eviscares/3SQD/2PLT/1COM/1RGT/1BAT/VEA/Tadath[LoR]
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 17, 2016 9:02:42 AM    View the profile of Inso 
The togruta, as it turned out, was an entirely pleasant individual. As they walked through the bowels of the star destroyer together Inso started to suspect Relto was in entirely the wrong profession. What concerned him more was the background noise. Rather than the usual hum of generators and engines running at capacity, the silence was punctuated by the occasional song of blaster fire. Short, sharp bursts and then silence.

This didn’t seem to concern anyone.

“So who are we going to see?” Inso asked, keen to find out why he was escorting the pirate to another section of the ship.

“RC12. Best information broker on the ship. Used to be a protocol droid, but decided to expand its horizons.” Relto turned into a side corridor, pausing before some blast door that seemed to be stuck sliding half open then closed again. The pair timed their next steps to continue. “He hooked himself up to some spare databanks on the ship. Now he’s networked with the holonet and all kinds of systems he shouldn’t be in.”

“You’re worried he’ll do something rash?” Inso asked. You didn’t bring a mean-looking aqualish with blasters hanging from both hips for a polite conversation.

“No, not at all. RC12 is honest to t. Also has several networked assassin droids. If he wanted to kill us, we’d be dead.”

“So what is this ‘test’ then?” Inso asked.

“That’d be the people we might meet on the way.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah, the King don’t run this joint. And… well… I owe Kanjiklub more’n a few creds. That Kanjiklub actually,” he added suddenly. His red skin paled a few shades.

A gran and two humans were bearing down on them. Inso could see the gang members were fixated on his togruta companion. Was easy to tell, what with the corridor being almost abandoned.

“Relto! Your spiderfaced companion ain’t gonna stop me pulling your legs off!” came a cry.

Inso came to an abrupt halt. His hands stopped fidgeting. That was always a bad sign.

“Now Dennirell Tarn, let’s not be hasty…” to togruta pirate started. He held his hands out wide so the kanjiklub could see he intended no aggression. Didn’t matter as far as Inso was concerned. He’d seen that the long black coat that adorned the togruta’s shoulders harboured more than a few weapons.

“Oh we’re gonna take our time alrigh’”

Relto might have been attempting to show that he didn’t intend to put up a fight. Inso held no such quarms. Especially after being compared to an insect. When the gang members started to reach for weapons he acted. In one smooth motion he drew his pistols. Eyes had been fixed on the togruta; they reacted to him too slowly.

Adding to the backround theme tune of the ship, Inso shot first. Two bolts from each pistol left the Kanjiklub guards smoking on their backs. Relto showed his was no slouch and followed by drawing a sporting carbine from his coat. Unlike the aqualish he fired a warning shot.

In a turn of events the gang member now held his hands out wide. He grimaced as he considered the two dead men.

“I dunno Dennirell Tarn, I was thinking we might call it even?”

Inso remained silent for that was his role. The muzzle of his pistol stayed stock still in the air. No shaking of his hands now. His anger was a hot knife, honed to the finest point.

“Yeah, yeah that sounds fine to me,” Tarn muttered.

“You think he’s being honest Inso?”

“[Doesn’t look honest to me,]” he replied.

“What did spiderface say?” Tarn demanded. His answer was a single blaster bolt to the chest.

Relto turned to face his new companion. He offered a shrug before his carbine vanished in a flash of tarnished durasteel.

“Well, not exactly what I had planned, but that will do. Let’s be on our way.”

Inso followed the togruta, but stopped to check the gang members for anything useful. He got a handful of credit chits, a spare comm unit, canister of tibanna gas and three power packs for his effort. When you had nothing, anything seemed a treasure.



A few moments later they stepped into a dimly lit chamber. Inso’s sensitive eyes spotted the assassin droids lingering in the shadows.

“And this…” Relto announced. “…is the great RC12.”

Like a bloated king on his throne, RC12 was fixed firmly to his chair. Hundreds of wires connected the bipedal protocol droid to its seat and the databanks that fanned out behind it. Its eyes lit up as its awareness returned from the ‘net to its physical form.

“A pleasure Relto,” its synthetic voice rang out from several speakers around them. “What do you seek?”
Inso Khel
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Aeos
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 17, 2016 11:52:43 AM    View the profile of Aeos 
Space cadet turned pirate rookie; Merlot hugged the durasteel throne. His body limply cradled the toilet, curling around it in a fragile fetal position. He moaned incoherently resting his flaming face gladly against the cold durasteel. His lekku twitched at every searing attack his alcohol induced body sent at his grey matter.

“Oye!! Merl! You fucker! We gotta go!” A deep bass voice thundered. A human head popped from the door frame. Unconcerned the man laughed.
“Poor baby” he cooed leaning his muscular and tattooed frame against the door.

“Boss, I dont think it’s a good idea if I go.” Merlot whimpered. His gut wrenched another gurgled gasp from him but there was nothing left to puke out except some dignity.

Raka arched his eyebrows bemused with the rookie’s request.

“That bad huh?”

“Yes boss, I should be fine tomorrow but I just think I need to sit this one out and rest.”

This time Raka frowned. His face pulling together in a grotesque expression of concern through the scars that criss-crossed his face.

“I’ll let the boys know. They’ll figure something out.”
Merlot eyes teared up, but whether this was an emotional gesture of appreciation at Raka’s concern or another hurl that was capitulating from the innards of his guts remained a mystery.

He clutched the violated rim of the toilet again hurling nothing but bile and air, groaning miserably as he shuddered through the spasms that rattled his bones.
Merlot closed his eyes, wiping the green slime and snot dripping from his nose.

Not noticing the approaching footsteps towards him, he yelped in surprise as something picked him up by the scruff of his neck.

“What the he-!!!”
Someone was force-feeding bread down his throat. He started choking before a bottle was trusted in his hands and he happily lapped at it to wash down the horrible mouldy dryness. Belly up laughter thundered through the room as Merlot spat out the whiskey.

“Ready to go boy?” One of the burlier zabraki asked with a horrible smile of yellow teeth.

“Boss said he’d chat with you guys! I’m staying in today!”

“Like hell you are you piece of space shit!” Pain exploded on nuclear levels across his face and his head as a punch was served to his face.

“The boss chatted with us.”

Still seeing stars the twileki was manhandled, shoved and pushed till icy water and droplets blessed his disgruntled undignified frame of vomit and blood.

"We leave in three min, you better get some gear and booze onto you."
Merlot slumped into a miserable huddle in an icy puddle of water that was building up.
Fuck He thought deliriously.
With the remnants of the Vast Empire scattering even further in that last botched attempt of a campaign he figured it would be better to hightail it. What could be more glorious and more relaxing than the life of a pirate? Eat when he wants, sleep went he wants, fuck when he wants, drink when-scratch that. He was already missing his cosy life where decorum and discipline actually protected him. His new colleagues had little respect for him, that was clear.

Exhausted, and in pain, he pulled himself up against the wall before wobbling over to the frame and back to his shitspace of a room he shared with 4 other men and women. They were still low-ranks, expendables who had to earn their right to live. The little mechanical skills and education he has acquired in short stint as a damned Imperial meant that he was part of one of several scavenging teams who had to assess what was needed for this useless mission.

Are you kidding me! That destroyer is toast! he thought. grumbling incoherently, easing his discomfort with additional swigs of the whiskey in his hand. He stopped dead in his track, admiring the cheap brand.
What do you know, it actually makes this easier. he thought in wonder.

http://www.vastempire.com/wiki/index.php?title=Aeos
[LoR][ESC1][ES2C][CoR][CoS][SC][EW:1][RCoD][GRoM][GRP][CCA][GC][KAD][MRT]

Qualified Combat Engineer
SM|DJR Aeos|Krath|Shades|Raven 5|VEDJ

CPO_Aeos/(=*A*=)][MC1](=*SA*=)
[This message has been edited by Aeos (edited November 17, 2016 11:53:13 AM)]
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 17, 2016 2:06:01 PM    View the profile of Inso 
“I sent the request ahead,” Relto said in a pleasant tone. Inso was starting to realise the togruta almost always spoke in a pleasant tone, even when staring down the barrel of a blaster.

“The ship parts. Confirm?” RC12 replied. Its head looked rather small on the amalgamation of components that now formed its body. And what sat in the chair was probably only a fraction, Inso reasoned. It had clearly taken over a number of databanks. On an impstar this big they had probably once been used for processing sensor data or calculating hyperspace jumps. Or maybe just letting the crew send their holomail.

“Confirmed,” Relto replied.

“Your options are limited. Kuat itself would require a fleet of star destroyers to attack. I could arrange a more subtle approach, but that would require several million credits to infiltrate their security properly. It does not seem logical to spend more than the price of parts to steal the parts. I have pulled up a list of Grade-C security zones where parts of this classification of Star Destroyer are still manufactured. The Vast Empire has several construction zones of varying levels of defence nearby. There are alternatives.”

“Such as?” Relto enquired. Silence fell. “Alright, how much?”

“A thousand.”

“Done.”

“Denon,” RC12 explained. “Is the Coruscant of the Inner-Rim. It bisects the Hydian Way and the Corellian Run. A treasure for any who would take it. Moff Weston recently thought he could pluck this jewel. Unfortunately for him that turned out to be incorrect. A skirmish took place just one month ago and his flagship – the Imperious - was scuttled in deep space. I have its location. It is however guarded by the New Republic frigate Bullet Time until a salvage operation can commence. One squadron of military grade X-wings with military grade pilots. Likely too much for the likes of you.”

“[Could have said that before charging,]” Inso accused. The droid turned to consider the aqualish for the first time.

“No refunds,” the droid stated plainly. Inso caught one of the droids moving between the rows of computers. Relto held out a hand for calm, perhaps concerned the hot-headed gunslinger would do something rash.

“No problem,” the togruta purred. “Transfer the data please?” he asked. A datapad now appeared from his coat. Inso was starting to wonder just how much was hidden in there.

“It is done. We are done.” RC12 stated plainly, before the lights faded from its optical sensors.

“Come on then,” Relto said, coat swishing out behind him as he turned.

“Where now?” Inso asked.

“We go to see the King. Best you don’t do any talking.”
Inso Khel
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 17, 2016 11:19:34 PM    View the profile of Kami 
Kami's hands were trembling. It was enough that Snipes had dropped his 'plan' on her. The last thing she needed was former squadmates rising from the grave.

She snatched the bottle from the King again, took another long mouthful, then shoved it back into his clasping fingers.

"Stay away from me," Kami snarled at the figure sprawled on the durasteel floor before her. The man with Eviscares's face groaned. He'd clipped a console on his way down, leaving scarlet streaming from his hairline to stain his features.

No. Not his features. Kami mentally corrected herself. Evi is dead. You buried him.

Snipes had watched the entire scene with rapidly declining interest. With a flourish he span on his heel, draped an arm across Kami's shoulder and steered her across the bridge towards the landspeeder.

"We're going now." He yelled to no-one in particular.

The bridge burst back into life in his wake. Pirates repositioned themselves behind consoles to take up abandoned decks of cards. Edward plopped down into a plush red chair, leaned back, and appeared to immediately fall asleep. The prone figure of the bloodied man remained on the ground and was quickly lost to sight.

"I called the other Captains," the King told her as he settled back into the battered speeder. He propped stinking boots up on the headrest, triggering a fit of swearing from the Weequay pilot seated behind the controls.

"Good," Kami said. She dropped down next to Snipes in the backseat and latched onto the passenger seat with a death grip. The speeder immediately lurched forward in a cloud of acrid smoke. "We'll need all the help we can get."

The King waved away Kami's residual irritation with a flick of a hand. "We'll get it done. Visha offered gold and women for a mark. We just have to wait for someone to come to us. And drink."

The rum was starting to weave its way through Kami's veins, loosening the muscles in her neck and numbing the throbbing of her grazed knuckles.

"I'm not certain inflatable women count," she countered dryly.

Snipes disconcerting enthusiasm didn't falter. "The real ones will come!"

The speeder flicked around a corner at breakdown speed, one mounted engine colliding intothe corridor with a resounding bang. The vehicle shuddered, released an indignant whine at the brutal treatment, then let loose an explosion of red hot flame from the damaged engine.

The King let out a roar as the speeder careened wildly and picked up speed. He stood up in his seat, hair streaming about behind him in a grey curtain, and raised the bottle to the skies in a toast. The roar turned into fierce laughter, audible even over the death rattles of the blazing engine.

Kami found herself standing with him, the scent of burning hair strong in her nostrils. Wind whipped at her, curling fingers into the folds of her clothing, and threatened to send her careening into open air.

The speeder shuddered again, smacked another wall. The Weequay pilot was screaming in an odd, high pitched manner, pausing only to pull in breath. Through a show of pure strength he managed to wrangle the vehicle around - point it directly towards the open space of the looming hangar.

Pressure built in Kami's gut, clawed up her throat, and burst free as laughter of her own. This was pure madness. A celebration of life through unbridled insanity.

And she had missed it.
|| Retired ||
[LoR][CoR][IG][GCA][BC][BM][CDS][EW][ES][GRP][GS]
------------------------
|| Krath Pontifex || Krath Order ||
DLoK/KP Kami Sharpe/Krath/Shades/Raven L-01/Dark Jedi Order/Vast Empire [PO]
------------------------
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[This message has been edited by Kami (edited November 17, 2016 11:20:43 PM)]
Eviscares
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 18, 2016 5:58:42 AM    View the profile of Eviscares 
“That could’ve gone better”, he mumbled to no one in particular, which was good, seeing as none of the pirates was paying any attention to him. On the other hand, it could’ve gone a lot worse as well, appended his ever optimistic side.

He was in pain, pain was good, pain was preferable to being dead. Slowly D’kaleth got back up on his feet, and looked around. Kami was gone, so was Snipes. He was alone on the bridge of a frakked up star destroyer with nothing but pirates for company. But apparently, these pirates couldn’t care less about him being around.

Not having a clue, a purpose or a plan on what to do here, and what Snipes had wanted with him, he resigned himself to the next best thing. Walking. Meandering through the narrow corridors, he tried to find a place to relax, get some food, a drink. This seemed to be some kind of ship turned port, so there had to be a watering hole in here somewhere.

After some more walking he had arrived at a cargo bay, that had been converted into a bar. Finding a table wasn’t that hard, and apparently his bloodied face wasn’t disturbing anyone here. The waitress, a Cathar with more piercings in her ears than he could count didn’t even ask what he wanted, she just set a steel mug down in front of him. Judging from the smell the pirates preferred battery acid mixed with star fighter fuel over anything that was actually meant to be drunk.

After downing the ‘drink’, and stifling a cough he soon felt a pleasant warmth spreading in his gut, mitigating the pain from the punch. The first mug was soon accompanied by another and Evis’ mind started to wander. He tried to make sense of the situation and how he had found his way here. Of course he had split from the Vast Empire again. Against all his hopes he wasn’t a soldier anymore. He was a legbreaker, a lifetaker, and pretty sure that that weren’t the worst ways to describe himself. He thought of his old squadmates, the gallery of disappointments he must’ve caused with them. Seeing Kami again had brought it all back again. And then, just like every time he got wasted he thought of the one that hurt the most. Of course it was stupid. Him and Ae, that hadn’t even been a thing, just the hint of something that could’ve been under different circumstances.

He hadn’t meant to walk out again. He had actually wanted to make it right this time. Get to know her again, but it hadn’t worked out, and not bearing their new status as half strangers he had left her behind.
Former Jester Squad
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TR/SGT_Eviscares/3SQD/2PLT/1COM/1RGT/1BAT/VEA/Tadath[LoR]
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 18, 2016 6:27:39 PM    View the profile of Inso 
“So what is he a king of exactly?” Inso asked curiously as they moved through the bowels of the dilapidated destroyer. Military grey was marred with mould. Not a good sign for the state of the atmospheric controls, Inso thought to himself. Having a blaster in one hand kept them from nervously fidgeting together. The thought of a hull breach was at the fore of his mind again.

“Best you don't ask that,” Relto purred in his togrutan accent. Inso could pick up accents and dialect in basic most of the time, but still struggled with some of the nuances of conversation. This usually led to offence being taken and blows being traded. “He ran a moon for a time and then a small fleet.”

“And now?”

“So many questions. Not good for a new and potentially temporary crew member. Stick to holding that blaster in case I have any more creditors around.”

“That often a problem?”

“Questions Inso, so many questions.”

The rest of the walk was conducted in silence. Occasional bursts of distant blaster fire still echoed down the halls. The aqualish decided a good hull breach would probably be necessary before anyone had any thoughts if turning this into a functioning ship.



“So where is the king?” Inso asked in his own language. He was answered not by the togrutan lieutenant but by the screech of tortured metal and the whine of repulsors. A speeder shot into the hangar at break-neck speeds and came to an abrupt halt.

“King,” Relto said as several people got down from the speeder. “I went to see the infochant and put together some details on potential…”

A tall man with long dark hair turned and gave the togruta an unfocused stare. He didn't even spare a glance for the datapad being offered.

Details…” he rolled the word around his tongue. Testing it out to see if it fit. If that didn't make it clear the king started to walk past towards the vessels in the bay.

Relto didn't seem overly put out by this. Instead he looked for another recipient. Maybe one that was more into ‘details’.

“Kami!” Relto said enthusiastically as he turned and board towards the next one down from the speeder with a flourish. He offered the datapad.

Inso shrugged. He was utterly bemused by the dynamic but had decided that Relto’s advice was sound. Probably not a good idea for him to try and engage anyone above his station in coveration.
Inso Khel
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Jegora
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 19, 2016 12:00:31 AM    View the profile of Jegora 
Jegora guided the battered Z-95 into the hangar bay with a sigh of relief. The aging Starfighter and required constant attention and care during the journey, and Jegora felt lucky to even have made it to the coordinates Visha had provided. The Headhunter was little more than a floating wreck, but he felt a strange attachment to it all the same. It might have been a rusty piece of junk, but it was his rusty piece of junk. He had earned it in the intervening years since his departure from VE space, bought and paid for it with honest sweat and hard work. He had little in his life that he could say that about, and so he took pride in the seemingly useless starfighter.

Upon arrival, Jegora had been surprised to find a derelict star destroyer waiting for him—not too surprised, given what he knew of the company he was about to rejoin, but surprised nonetheless. As he gently set the starfighter down on hangar deck, he wondered what was happening here and what he was about to step into. He had left this life behind for a reason, and even before plunging back into the chaos he was regretting his decision to return. This life had been shattered once before and he had barely survived leaving it behind. He didn’t know if he was prepared to go through it all again.

As he powered down the Headhunter, its reactor shuddering to a halt, Jegora shook his head to clear his thoughts. Introspection and reverie would make him no friends here. At the very least the beings aboard this star destroyer would mock his silliness, but at worst the vultures and wild dogs among them would smell weakness and would begin to circle. Jegora might have changed, might have left this life behind for a different path than his old comrades, but he remembered well the danger of keeping such company. It was partially why he had fled before, swearing to never return to such a life. And yet here he was.

Some debts are too steep to ignore, he thought to himself. No matter how much I’d like to.

With that he popped the canopy on the Headhunter and pushed himself up and out of the starfighter. Jumping to the hangar floor, he landed with a heavy thud that almost buckled his knees. He had been in the cramped interior of the starfighter for many hours, and it was far from a luxurious ride; he found himself stiff and sore from head to toe.

Someone had finally noticed his arrival. Not someone Jegora recognized, of course, although he wasn’t sure anyone would recognize him anyways. He supposed there was only one way to find out.

“You!” Jegora shouted, trying his best to insert a tone of command into his voice. “I need to see Visha.”
_________________________________

Jegora didn’t know if the man obeyed his command or simply had orders to bring all newcomers to Visha, but soon Jegora found himself in a speeder heading towards some other part of the star destroyer. He lost track of the twists and turns until eventually his escort slowed the speeder to a halt. He gestured towards another hangar, and Jegora shrugged and hopped down. He trudged into the room and stopped short. He had not been expecting such a large crowd.

Sure enough Visha was there, but she wasn’t alone. Jegora’s eyes were drawn first to the one they called the King, the one he knew as Snipes. The man hadn’t changed much, although he was clearly older. And dirtier. He also appeared quite drunk, but that was pretty standard.

Next his eyes shifted to the woman standing next to the King: Kami Sharpe. Jegora had figured her dead in the aftermath of the events that had led to his own exile, but he should have known better. She looked good, for the most part, except he noted some grey creeping into her air.

There were others around but Jegora didn’t have time to make note. The group had gone silent at his approach, but now the King was waving a bottle of something alcoholic in Jegora’s general direction.

“You!” he roared, startling everyone except Visha. “I thought you were dead!”

So much for not being recognized, Jegora thought to himself wryly.

“Not dead, not yet at least,” he answered noncommittally. The King nodded as if this were the wisest thing he had ever heard. 

“How many ships did you bring?” the King asked, as excited as a child on his birthday. Jegora hesitated.

“No ships,” he replied carefully, shaking his head slightly. He watched the King’s reaction.

“How many men?” the old pirate tried again. Again Jegora shook his head, hesitating.

“Just me,” he said, raising his hands placatingly.

The King’s face turned an interesting shade of red. “This is how you repay your debt!?” he shouted, throwing the empty bottle he had been waving across the hangar where it shattered against one of the bulkheads. With that he sauntered off, taking most of his retinue with him. Only Kami remained behind. Her eyes had not left Jegora throughout the entire exchange.

“What happened to you?” she asked after a long moment. She paused again but did not elaborate. She didn’t need to—he understood the question. Where once he had been a powerfully built man, standing over six and half feet tall, he was now bowed and broken. His frame had withered away until he was a mere wiry shell of his former self. His hair was unkempt, his face unshaven. His eyes were haunted, shining with pain and regret. No, Kami did not have to elaborate on her question. He asked himself the same question every time he looked in a mirror.

He was incapable of articulating these thoughts. Instead he merely shrugged his still-broad shoulders. “I lost,” he mumbled, catching and holding Kami’s gaze. After a long moment the woman nodded. At the very least Jegora suspected that she understood loss.

“Come on then,” she said finally, breaking the tension. “I find it best to keep up. Besides, he has all the booze with him.”
Jegora Fal

Dark Lord of the Sith
Sith Vitiator

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[This message has been edited by Jegora (edited November 19, 2016 12:02:13 AM)]
Aeos
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 19, 2016 5:19:27 PM    View the profile of Aeos 
The fuel was running out.
The food was running out.
Fuck, even the washing liquid ran out.

Her fingers drummed the the dirty arm-rest listlessly, staring at nothing but a black void filled with little puffs of burning gasses and reflections.  She glanced at the small make-shift gaming table she dragged in, the holo hue lighting up her face.  She was stuck in a fork, curtesy of Noma's programming.

The AI flickered incessantly on her tiny holo-display pad. Havock has diverted much of the ship's power to extend their life support and as such the more luxurious aspects of the ship's innards were slowly becoming defunct. Even the coms have died, their far-reaching capabilities draining too much power from distress signal's beacons.

"I give. " Aeos finally conceded. Usually, she was pretty good on a dejarik game, but today her concentration and commitment to winning was distracted.

Havock's footsteps thundered in to the cockpit.
"Anything?" She asked, even though she knew the answer.
"Nothing. Scanners haven't picked up anything. The distress signal was received, but they moved on."
Havock swore loudly in a colourful palette of words.

Aeos kept quiet, and shrugged.
They've been drifting for two weeks now. Naturally something to be concerned about.  It was the silence that was driving her nuts. The quiet way with which their existence was puttering out was quite anti-climatic. She'd always thought she'd go in fire with a bolt to the back or a blade at her throat.

Their last negotiation mission did not turn out that well with Havock landing up out cold for at least week leaving the ship into Aeos' very incapable hands. In their hasty escape, the ship took some heavy damage and whilst the escape was an success, the hyperdrive finally sputtered and died. The bane of every spacer's natural existence.

They both received the call from the Empire, and they both loyally answered. They hit the ground running the moment they set foot on the makeshift head quarters on a Star Destroyer. Both of them jolting back into leading their new squads. Logistics, strategies and rosters materialised overnight and soon they set out together to meet up some new networks to try and source new viable resources the STC so desperately needed if they wanted to start their campaign. The last meeting however ended in disaster, which is what led them to their current predicament now. On their way to the Star Destroyer went the engine failed.

Short hair spiked around Aeos' face along with a thick bacta-plaster across her one cheek. Her famous braid, sadly seared with a badly aimed blaster pistol has resulted in Havock hap-hazard trying to fix the hair with one hand. Havock seemed worse for wear however. Still limping, bandage around the head and one arm in a makeshift sling, Havock was as usual living up to her accident prone reputation.

"Things were pretty bad when we left HQ, even if everyone was hopefull. The whole revival was an administrative nightmare. Their resources are too thinly spread to respond to this call." Aeos murmured softly. It was what, a month ago that they've left?

"Noma, send a distress signal again, on all channels."
"This is not recommended"
"Fuck recommendation, we have no choice. Your programming can be rebooted. We on the hands, can't." Havock replied tiredly.

Aeos sighed and closed her eyes. Rubbing them with the knuckles of her fist.
Of course it was not recommendable. A distress signal on all channels was just as good as drifting. You were simply calling for all the scavengers to rape and pillage the ship and hope they might have some ethic in sparing a life.

"You know Haf, I swear...if we make it out....I'm done with the Empire.: Aeos swore.
Havock arched an eyebrow bemusedly.
"You're too stiff to quit Aee,"
"Not this time. We've been stuck on this ship for two weeks time. That is alot of time to count all the scratches on the wall-"
"Hey!"
"and a lot of time for some introspection. It's just bells and whistles. A façade and a hypocrisy."

Aeos tugged at the buttons of her uniform, rolling up the sleeves.

"I'm just too fucking tired to get back into it. I'm twenty-nine and I'm too tired to salute them."
"Heh." was Havock's reply.
"Talking bit big sis."
Aeos laughed mirthlessly.
"Yeah I know, maybe I should seal it with some whiskey. Got any still?"

http://www.vastempire.com/wiki/index.php?title=Aeos
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Havock
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 19, 2016 8:33:07 PM    View the profile of Havock 
Ayme frowned as she struggled to find any saliva in her mouth. Her cheek was against something cold and her body hurt enough so that she couldn’t identify where the pain radiated from.

Something shifted in the room with her, it sounded like a boot being moved across the surface of the floor her face was resting on.

Ayme cracked open one eye slowly. The blurry image of a small room, which looked like an upgraded detention cell, came into focus. With a groan she turned until she was on her back.

“Aaa..” In her mind she said her sister’s name but her ears confirmed that nothing more than disjointed sounds came out.

“Damn cap’n, you look like shit.”

Ayme frowned and turned her neck as far as she could manage, which was frankly a pathetic effort. A tall woman leaned against the durasteel wall, one boot against the wall and one supporting her on the ground. Her eyebrow was raised high enough to touch her hair line.

“Millie?” Ayme’s former second mate only response was to continue to smirk. “How the hell…ouch shit.”

“Don’t try to move, you’re friend is over there, I called Wes.”

Ayme let her head fall back to the floor. “Wes? Our medic from the Bitch…seriously how is that guy still alive, he was a walking disaster.”
“Wow cap’n ain’t that the pot callin’ the kettle kinda a statement there?”

Another groan in the room stopped any further conversation. Ayme tried to sit up and failed miserably.

“Stop, stop, stop. Don’t move. Just wait, need to get the instruments set up. I would have been here sooner but needed to sanitize, can’t be too careful.” Wes scurried around an amused Millie as he set up his instruments in neat rows, which he insisted upon checking several times per object.

“Yea Wes, of course wouldn’t want to risk infection.” Ayme muttered each word dripping with sarcasm. “Millie where the fuck are we, this isn’t my ship.”

“No ma’am it’s mine.  She’s little but she’s loud, we don’t have far to go. Bird is here too but we are having to be somewhat creative with our flight plan given you called nearly every scavenger in the sector to your location with that little advertisement of yours.” Millie crossed her arms and her dark eyes darted over to the other blonde who had slowly climbed to a sitting position in the room.

“Who are all of you?” Aeos glared at the other occupants in the room. Her eyes were clearly frustrated while at the same time eyeing the doctor protectively as he neared her sister.

“Ae these are my old crew from the Bitch.”

Millie snorted, “who you callin’ old boss?”

“Don’t start Millie.”

Wes knelt down and started to catalogue Ayme’s injuries.
“Damn Wes, you are aware it’s Havock. Would be quicker to just find the parts of her she hasn’t fucked up.”

Wes frowned and shook his head as he continued to precisely poke and prod her. Ayme glared over his shoulder at her former second mate. “Funny, real funny Mill.”

Several minutes passed with uncomfortable silence before Aeos reached the end of her patience. “Seriously you’re a medic? She has a concussion, broken arm, and she managed to do something to her leg. You should be most concerned about the lack of oxygen combined with the head injury.”

Wes frowned as he slowly looked up at Aeos, then shook his head and returned to work.

“Nice try blondie, but we’ve been trying to break Wes’ concentration for years.”

“Okay enough, just tell me what the hell is going on Millie.”

“Well boss, we are going to meet up with everyone and steal ourselves a star destroyer. Honestly I was running late to the party, lucky you.”

The comms crackled to life. “Okay boys and girls, we are just about to knock on the door. Time to get ready to rock and roll.”

Ayme brushed Wes aside and used her good arm to sit up. “I see Bird hasn’t changed.” Her eyes turned towards her sister. “This should be fun.”
Prefect of the Army
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Kami
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 19, 2016 8:51:12 PM    View the profile of Kami 
Her system flush with adrenaline, Kami didn't notice the togruta that shoved forward with the milling crowd of Oskers. It wasn't until the King stormed off, lip curled in sudden distaste, that Kami started out of her daze and climbed free of the speeder.

"Kami!" The alien materialised before her. He offered a brazen smile and dipped his head tails in a polite gesture of acknowledgement. "If I could have a moment of you time."

Kami's eyes flicked from the patterned face of the alien to the data pad clutched in one clawed hand.

"The King's requested information on potential targets," the alien supplied.

Kami extended a hand, palm out.

The togruta flinched, allowed himself a final possessive glance at the datapad, then dropped it into her hand.

The screen flickered to life as Kami tapped her nails over its face. She considered the lines of neat galactic text, the muscles around her eyes tightening as she skimmed further down the list.

"What is your name?" she finally asked.

The togruta dipped his head again, "Relto." He stepped lithely to one side and indicated a hulking Aqualish standing at his back. "And my colleague, Inso Khel."

"Let me guess," Kami said, her tone droll. "Women and gold?"

Relto's teeth flashed yellow against blood red skin. "Gold is far easier to trade."

Kami considered the pair for a long moment, nails drumming subconsciously on the datapad. Since reconnecting with King it had become clear that his reach had been greatly weakened. The fleet was in tatters and Captains scattered to the wind. Those left behind were mostly scavengers and opportunists, sniffling about for the promise of scraps. Hardly an inspiring group of individuals.

These two however...these two showed promise. Brains and brawn, neatly delivered to Kami in a tidy package.

"The King will need capable men for this venture," Kami told Relto. "I will need capable men."

"Of course," Relto interjected calmly. "And our payment?"

Kami didn't hesitate. "A mere fraction of the first cut for privateers that serve on the Hound.." She paused, played her hand. "If you know who I am, you know that my word is solid."

Left unsaid was the fact that the King had no gold to pay.

Relto hesitated, long enough to give inexperienced negotiators time to panic and sweeten the pot. Habit most likely. Kami had no doubt that the scenario had played out exactly to the togruta's liking.

"All in Osk know the High Lady's word is iron," Relto said, dark eyes glittering. "And Khel and I, as loyalists, will always answer when called."

Kami resisted the urge to arch a skeptical brow. Instead she pocketed the datapad and jerked her chin at the pair. "In that case, make sure you keep up."

Without another word she span on her heels and stalked up the ramp of the Hound.

----------

The noise of the bridge was building as the guards positioned around the King became increasingly drunk. Felix Rye capered about in their midst, regaling anyone who would listen with a tale of escape from cartoonish Imperial pursuers. The King didn't appear to be listening despite Rye's efforts, slumped down in his throne with his gaze fixed firmly on the new bottle in his lap.

In the corner of the bridge a smaller group was perched around a rectangular officer's post. Visha stood with datapad in hand, the light of the screen flashing over features carved from stone. Kami was leaning up against a console, Relto and Inso at her back. Her eyes flicked between Visha and the other man present, a fresh bottle nursed between both hands where he was crouched on the floor.

Kami was still struggling to process the drastic change in Jegora. The man had once been larger than life, expressed not only through an impressive physique but via a magnetic presence that radiated from every pore. It was hard to believe that the shadow on the floor, pinched visage hidden behind straggled hair and beard, had once commanded platoons and fleets with a word.

Caught up in her musings, Kami missed the beginning of Visha's sentence.

"...less worried about surviving a run in with a Republic Frigate. We'll need to get past the X-Wings first."

Kami was inclined to agree. The uglies employed by Osk were hard hitting but infamously sluggish. They also had a tendency to implode mid-fight. The X-Wings, in comparison, were highly manoeuvrable and wielded enormous destructive power.

"What's our current strength?" Kami asked the Captain.

"The Dead Man's Hand is limping, but she should fly," Visha responded. "I sent the Last Chance out to pull recruits - it's due back in a few hours. We have few Captains, all with light freighters, and all light on hands."

Kami pulled in a breath, considered. "Freelancers?"

Visha read the question between the lines. Did Osk have enough credit to hire more bodies? She shook her head in response.

Kami turned to Jegora. The former Captain looked up at her, eyes guarded, shoulders hunched slightly forward. He was diminished, yes. But the true strength of this man was not in the sinew of his arms or the hostility of his manner.

She directed her next statement at him. "Any suggestions would be welcome."
|| Retired ||
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------------------------
|| Krath Pontifex || Krath Order ||
DLoK/KP Kami Sharpe/Krath/Shades/Raven L-01/Dark Jedi Order/Vast Empire [PO]
------------------------
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Jegora
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Jegora
 
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 19, 2016 11:41:47 PM    View the profile of Jegora 
Jegora looked at Kami incredulously. “You're asking me for ideas?” he spluttered, his usually deep voice ticking up a few notches. “I might be biased, but that seems like a terrible idea.”

Kami was shaking her head before Jegora had even finished. “You commanded this fleet once. Except for Visha, you know these ships better than anyone.”

Jegora straightened and rolled his shoulders, his joints popping loudly in protest.

“You're right, I do know our capabilities,” he ground out. “And so believe me when I tell you that this is suicide.”

Kami glared and Jegora met her angry gaze with his own. There was silence in the room, and tension slowly built. Snipes of course wasn't paying attention and was rocking slowly back and forth on his feet, his eyes closed. Visha was studying the information and the maps in front of her. Everyone else, however, was watching Jegora and Kami intently, wondering who was going to. Break first.

It ended up being neither Jegora nor Kami who broke the silence, but rather a chortle from an Aqualish standing to the side of the room. At the sound Jegora looked away, but he knew that he hadn't escaped but rather had only delayed the inevitable confrontation to come.

“We don't need to defeat the guards to take the loot!” shouted a voice suddenly, and it took Jegora a minute to figure out that it was Snipes who had spoke.

Everyone waited for the King to elaborate but the clarification never came. “Well?” Kami prompted. “What the hell does that mean?”

Visha understood first. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend. We might not be the only ones who want a piece of this particular prize.” The captain smiled, a look so foreign on her normally austere visage that Jegora almost didn't recognize it. “This is a big corpse. There's room for more than one scavenger.”

To his surprise more than anyone else's, a plan began to form in Jegora’s mind. “That… is actually a good idea, and it might actually work,” he muttered, glancing over at Kami. “And I think I even know just the person to help us out.”
Jegora Fal

Dark Lord of the Sith
Sith Vitiator

DLoS | SVT Jegora | Marauders | Eagle | Sith | VEDJ | VE  [SoY] [KC:1]


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Aeos
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Aeos
 
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 20, 2016 4:03:11 PM    View the profile of Aeos 
"You okay?"
Havock hobbled into the small kitchentte that Aeos has managed to mark off as her little territory for the time being while Havock was bonding with the crew.
"I'm alive if that's what you meant" Aeos murmured nursing her whiskey straight from the bottle.
It was quiet for a moment before Aeos dragged another bottle from her little case she found and slid one over to Havock.
"How are you feeling?
Her sister managed a decent shrug despite the slinged arm and took a seat.
"Alive." she replied pointedly.

The drinking continued in contemplative silence. Waking up being able to breath was a relief as much as it was a shock that it was a decent crew that got to them first instead of other lesser inclined pirates.

"So, you're still up to dropping the Imperials?"
Aeos nodded, this time taking a big long tug from the bottle.

"You see Havock, I logged onto my accounts a few hours ago and they were drained two weeks ago..."
"Around the time we-"
"-Sent out the distress signal."
"Fuck. I think I should be okay though." Havock said darkly.

"You were smart about your business. You kept most of your shit quiet in the paper work. Me? I had to do everything according to the book."

"Your family okay though?"
"I sent them a comm two hours go to hightail it off from the farm. Rin doesn't have much to get by from though, and we still have debt to pay off.  I'm not interested in working for opportunists, and I cant relay on their good faith to settle my debts."

Aeos swore loudly as she continued to drink ignoring the building buzzing of the alcohol in her head. The honest truth was, she's been on the borderline of the defection even before she initially had left the Empire. Back then however she had an legitimate reason to leave and most soldiers had been pardoned. They had to be pardoned or the Empire would've lost thousands of battle-hardened Imperials.

"Look, I'm not even sure where we are heading right now, but I think you're being too hasty in this decision. Give it a few weeks. If you defect, the next time you meet the Imperials, it will be straight to the firing squad." Havock cautioned.

Aeos snorted. This was rich. Her sister being cautionary. It was like their roles have reversed for a split second.

"I'll see how I feel."

http://www.vastempire.com/wiki/index.php?title=Aeos
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Kami
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 20, 2016 9:13:44 PM    View the profile of Kami 
Kami crossed her arms, tried to keep her tone even when she addressed Jegora. "Talk to your contact. This plan hinges on them being interested enough to take a bite."

Jegora came slowly to his feet. Kami flicked her gaze down as she felt his eyes settle on her. The man had been scraped raw and was defensive as a result. Too much rested on him successfully pulling the strings to accidentally provoke another argument.

"There's a room you can use down the hall. Second door on the right."

Thank the gods for Visha.

Jegora let out a grunt and turned to leave the room. The bottle he had been nursing remained half full on the floor.

As soon as he left the tension bled from the room. Kami flicked a glance at the now snoring King, noted the drool sliding out the corner of his slack mouth, then sighed and turned to Visha.

"If the big boys are going to play we'd be better off keeping a low profile," Kami said. "One or two ships. In and out before they know we're there."

Visha tapped a finger on her bottom lip. "If we only take the Hound we're limited by how much we can pull. I'm not saying we'll nab everything we need this time around, but I'd prefer to snatch as much as we can carry."

There was the sound of a throat clearing followed by dulcet tones. "Apologies for interrupting ladies. But I may be able to assist."

Kami closed her eyes briefly. Of course he could. She turned to Relto, who was doing a reasonable job of restraining his glee. Within the space of half an hour he'd racked up considerable debt within the Osk leadership.

"Would a YZ-2500 meet your requirements?" Relto asked.

Both women glared at him.

"I assumed it would," he continued smoothly, undeterred. "And as such I have already made arrangements. The Ship Faced should arrive shortly."

"The Ship Faced," Visha repeated.

Relto twitched a head tail. "I believe Beeracuda lost out by a narrow margin."

Kami dropped her face into her palm.
|| Retired ||
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------------------------
|| Krath Pontifex || Krath Order ||
DLoK/KP Kami Sharpe/Krath/Shades/Raven L-01/Dark Jedi Order/Vast Empire [PO]
------------------------
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[This message has been edited by Kami (edited November 20, 2016 9:16:50 PM)]
Sniping101
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 21, 2016 3:53:35 AM    View the profile of Sniping101 
Snipes woke up in a haze, sitting in his chair. It wasn’t truly waking up because he hadn’t truly been asleep. It was the second wind of one heavily inebriated. He looked around, realizing that he was not in his quarters, but on the bridge, in his throne. He moved with caution, stepping off of his now well torn throne. His legs were numb, everything from his lower back down was numb and stiff. The first few steps were the hardest.

The bridge of CR-90 was not a very big affair. Enough room for some consoles around the viewports, his throne, and for people to move quickly around both. Several people gathered in a corner was a bit of an oddity. He stumbled forward.
He recognized Kami and Visha, neither of the alieans.

“I believe Beeracuda lost out by a narrow margin,

Snipes started laughing, or more correctly, guffawing. It was an unhealthy noise that came from his gut and struggled to get out of his throat.

He repeated, “Beeracuda, I like that.”

The torguta bowed. Which just made Snipes laugh (guffaw) harder. When he was done, he wiped a tear from where it had made a clean track down his dirty face, in some places just smearing the grime.

“What’s going on here, anyway,” He asked. He swayed.

“We have a target. Putting together a plan.” Kami said.

Snipes face drooped.

“This is time sensitive, Snipes.” Visha said, turning to him. Golden eyes, to him, always accusatory.

“I’m sure,” He said.

His brows furrowed and his smile faded. Then he stormed off, bare feet slapping on durasteel.

“God dammit,” Kami said. She started to move, but Visha laid a hand on her shoulder.

“He knows he’s wrong, he’s just going to be a child about it,” Visha’s tone was flat, “Rye, get your ass after him,” Her tone was not flat.

Rye looked around, caught Visha’s eye, “Yes, Ma’am.”

He said the words, but he sauntered; there was no hurry in his steps. His fellows followed, and Visha ground her teeth. She inhaled sharply, and exhaled slowly. There had been a time when the discipline of the Corellian Hound would have been the envy of any military, but that time was long passed.

Visha looked at Kami. She respected Kami. They often fell on the wrong sides of a problem, but Kami had earned at least some respect.

“He’ll be done in an hour. We move ahead either way. He’ll respect that.” Visha said, he right hand, hidden from view by the angle she stood towards Kami, clenched.

The mission had to succeed, with or without Snipes. Snipes needed it too much. He’d been indulged too much. The best way to get him back was to act.
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Eviscares
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Eviscares
 
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 21, 2016 5:42:08 AM    View the profile of Eviscares 
The next mug slammed down onto the steel table. By now Evis had reached a comfortable level of inebriation. He’d passed self pity half an hour ago, done the little dance of questioning every move, and by now he had firmly arrived in the angry phase of drunkenness. He would stand up, he would find Snipes, he would give him a piece of his mind for dragging him out here and not explaining anything.

The first part of his newly formed plan proved to be quite troublesome already. Eviscares stood up, noticed that apparently gravity was on the fritz again because everything was spinning, sat down, took a moment to find his bearings and tried again, a bit slower this time.

He made his way to the door, stumbled through it into the cargo hold proper. The first guy that passed him had to deal with a slurred question regarding the kings whereabout. But even if he understood he merely shrugged and was gone already. It took a couple of more tries, until Evis had found someone who could point him into the right direction and was willing to get him there for a reasonable compensation.

They had wandered the grimey halls of the capital ship for a while until they had reached one of the hangars. Even in his current state Eviscares saw that the CR90 parked in there wasn’t standard by any means. In front of the ramp was what the pirates might call a guard detail, but it actually was just a couple of brutes lounging on stacked crates, spending their time dicing.

After his guide had been paid and had sauntered off again, Eviscares walked up to the ramp, exclaiming, almost without a slur:”I demand to see your King!”.

In retrospect he should have expected the laughter. In retrospect, they should have expected his reaction. And he should have expected their reaction to his. But then again, hindsight is always 20/20.

So he threw the first punch, a lifetime of violence dictating his course of action, and diplomacy never his strong point. To his credit, the thug didn’t just keel over, but took the punch and started to fight back.

It wasn’t a fair fight, he was more drunk then his two opponents, and they were younger than him. For a while experience and pig headedness led him through the brawl. But at some point his body protested the abuse. He fell to the floor, and the thugs, clearly respecting one of the basic rules of brawling decided not to kick his teeth in.

Leaning over Evis, one of them asked:”Still want to see the King?”.

His jaw still hurting he only nodded, and the thug turned around and walked up the ramp, saying:”On your head be it…”
Former Jester Squad
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-=Retired=-
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Valthir
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Valthir
 
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 21, 2016 5:14:32 PM    View the profile of Valthir 
Morning came as it always did, the tides of sleep retreating and leaving only pain. A contemplation of whether to get up or give up, the eternal struggle.

Finally, Val sat up with a grunt and froze, awaiting something. After a moment, he allowed himself and small smile, exhaling deeply in relief, and climbed to his feet. It seemed that the day was destined to be one of his better ones. His mind felt clear and his body was only marginally wracked with pain.  All in all, lucky. 

The room he was in was fairly small and bare, the floors concrete and walls a fading yellow. From the pitted front came the soft glow of sunlight, drawing him forwards and out. There was a semblance of a doorway there, though it was rather jagged in places, and he took care not to snag his clothing on anything.

Once outside, he glanced around, appraising his surroundings. Not much seemed to have changed from the previous night, though in the morning sun he could see that it was actually a large alleyway, or at least it had been once. One of the two buildings had slumped over time and was leaning against the other. Walkways and other bits of structure had haphazardly sprung up from building to building as well, giving rise to what he thought had been a tunnel.

Striding forward, he gingerly traced his way towards the entrance on, a winding route that took him around the rubble, splayed corpses, and streams of blood. Yawning, he paused a moment, glancing around. Spotting his target, he made his way over and leaned down, drawing the knife from the body. The blood, mostly dried, came off fairly easy as he vigorously rubbed it down on the dead man’s clothing. Sliding it into its sheath, he stood up, glancing back and wondering for a moment if he should do a bit of looting. Ultimately, he deemed it too much effort and discarded the notion.

After all, he had already looted the few that he had killed himself. The rest had already mostly been dead when he had arrived, the result of a gang fight between two wannabe gang leaders. One of the idiots hadn’t even been able to supply his men with weapons, forcing most of them to pick up whatever they could off of the street. The others were more well-equipped, though mostly only with melee weapons, but were smaller in number. Still, they seemed to have slaughtered the other group easily and had their appetites for destruction whetted a bit too much and a bit too early.

While a little miffed still that they had attacked him for simply walking by on “their turf”, it had nevertheless turned out to be in his favor. After he slaughtered the rest, he had found some credit chips, enough to feed him for the rest of the week. He had also had a place to sleep undisturbed, with the mass pile of bodies apparently being enough to put off even the most adventurous thug from venturing further in than the street. All in all, lucky.

Whistling, he turned the corner and merged into the foot traffic, destination unknown.
Valthir
Dark Jedi Knight of the Dark Jedi Order (because we're just not Dark Jedi enough, we have to mention it twice)
Pirate Overseer of the mythical Osk Company (during one of those blue moons when it actually exists)

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Kami
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Kami
 
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 22, 2016 4:16:11 AM    View the profile of Kami 
Kami paced the length of the bridge, boot heels tapping a static rhythm on the polished silver surface.

Once she had been an infinitely patient woman. Willing and able to sit beneath moulding vegetation for hours on end, rain pattering across her helmet, the comforting weight of her rifle propped in her arms. As she had aged the patience of her youth had faded. Experience showed that action, even to the point of reactive paranoia, tipped the odds in one's favour. Patience and planning had offered Kami nothing but disappointment and death.

"If you're going to do that until the King returns," Visha looked up from her maps. "Do it elsewhere."

Kami bit back the sour response on her lips, recognising the urge as pure frustration. This was not her bridge or her ship. She dipped her head in silent apology and stalked from the bridge into the corridor beyond. Relto and Khel stayed behind, heads close together as they talked in low tones.

She paused in the empty corridor. She was at a complete loss about what to do next. Drinking, despite her brief indulgence, wasn't a great move with a heist lurking on the horizon. Neither the King or Jegora would be good company in their current state. And her crew were a galaxy away, likely celebrating their recent payload from the harvested nysillin.

A pang of longing rippled through Kami at the thought of the Z. Her fingers snapped to her comlink then jerked away as if burned.

He won't answer.

The niggling voice was an irritant but true no matter how much Kami wished it was otherwise. She'd left. Again. The third time in as many years. Not a whim but a goddamn pattern of behaviour.

Everything he said was true.

"Shit," Kami breathed aloud to the empty corridor. She ran her fingers through the loose tresses of her hair, clutching at the strands as though they were life support. She stood frozen for a long moment. Around her the ship continued to function, the echo of men laughing, Visha snapping a command, and more distantly, the thud of flesh on flesh punctuated by cheers.

Kami blinked and shattered the stillness. She rolled her shoulders back and settled her expression. Then, jaw set, she walked up the corridor and towards the sound of fighting.

The scene that greeted her at the ramp of the Hound was not uncommon. Several Oskers were trading cigarettes and cred coins, the recipients grinning widely while the the donors went through the show of grumbling and calling foul play.

"...know it was definitely longer than three seconds," a Twi'lek was lamenting, even as he counted out credits into the greasy palm of an overweight human woman. "Besides, he's still breathing."

Kami flicked her gaze past the backers to the man curled in foetal position on the ground. Two of the King's personal guard were standing over him, one wiping fresh blood from his knuckles. As she watched the beaten man groaned and slumped to one side to reveal swollen grey eyes and pale hair caked with dried blood.

"Son of a bitch." Kami snarled between her teeth.

One the guards had started up the ramp and jolted to a stop as he recognised Sharpe. He jabbed his thumb over his shoulder. "Er, he wants to see the King."

"No," Kami bit the words out. "He's not seeing anyone. Does the Hound have a holding cell?"

The guard considered for a moment, working at something between his teeth with his tongue. "No cell," he offered finally. "But we could lock him in an empty handling crate in the hangar. The King used it for his pet Bantha until he ate it."

"I - what?" Kami shook her head. "Never mind. Toss him in there."

The guard shrugged his shoulders and sauntered back towards his colleague. The two shouldered the semi-conscious man and dragged him, boots skipping across the ground, up the ramp and into the Hound.
|| Retired ||
[LoR][CoR][IG][GCA][BC][BM][CDS][EW][ES][GRP][GS]
------------------------
|| Krath Pontifex || Krath Order ||
DLoK/KP Kami Sharpe/Krath/Shades/Raven L-01/Dark Jedi Order/Vast Empire [PO]
------------------------
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Eviscares
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Eviscares
 
[VE-ARMY] Sergeant
 
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 22, 2016 9:05:01 AM    View the profile of Eviscares 
Somewhere through the haze he heard a familiar voice. Kami? But even though he wanted to say something, ask her what was going on, he couldn’t. Grimacing at the pain and not being unconscious were challenging enough as it were.

Metal creaked on metal, and Evis found himself thrown into a container turned cage. And even though the slits in it meant that it was vented, and he wasn’t in any particularly perceptive mood, he recognized the smell. Bantha. And even worse, Bantha fodder. Deciding that staying conscious would only prolong the time that he was feeling and smelling the current circumstances of his existence he gave in and slipped into sweet sweet unconsciousness.
Former Jester Squad
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Inso
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 22, 2016 6:08:59 PM    View the profile of Inso 
“Questions,” Inso said as they marched out of the Hound. He couldn't help but notice a shift in the togruta’s stride. It was subtle change, a slightly lengthening of the stride and swing of the shoulders. Enough to have the tail of his coat twitch from side to side. Spotting a lair of female hangar technicians by the ramp seemed to be the precipitating factor.

“Ah, what did I say about questions my friend?”

“Still…”

“Well, as long as they are reasonably benign!” Relto warned. For such a charming fellow his voice could be honed to an edge ever so suddenly.

Inso responded with a shrug.

“Benign? Oh by the… I mean questions that are not…” Relto hummed, making a show of finding a word that was simple enough. “...Difficult to answer.”

“Right, no. What's this about loyal subjects?” inso asked. He felt mildly affronted at being described as such without his say in the matter.

“You saw the king no? Keep out from under his feet, leave the talking to me and you will find being a 'loyal subkect’ quite agreeable.

“And I guess I get paid in promises too?” Inso ventured.

“Hah! Hardly benign,” Relto blurted out with a laugh. “I like being paid in favours, but the reverse is not so true. Credit chits emerged from that long jacket without complaint and traded hands. “But you will need to buy some fuel. You see my face is too beautiful and large to land here. I'm going to need a lift.”
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Valthir
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  RE: Hoist the Colors
November 22, 2016 6:22:42 PM    View the profile of Valthir 
OOC:
Kind of a rambling post. Meh.


The city was a tapestry of filth and corruption, a bloom of mold and mildew upon a hellish, barren planet. Its people flowed through its streets and canals like the lifeblood of a diseased pack animal, its existence spent in eternal toil and torment. Destined to forever remain boots to the ground.

Val picked a bit of gristle out of his teeth and flicked it away, aiming for muttering humanoid that had just nearly elbowed him in the face. It landed in the creature’s hair and barely clung, eliciting a fist pump from Val. But the elation soon faded and he was left with nothing else on his mind. Boredom was a perpetual cloak on his back, clinging to him as closely as the dust that settled everywhere in this god forsaken city.

Sucking on his teeth for a moment as he puzzled over his current and ever reoccurring conundrum, he quickly decided and turned to jog after his gristle receptacle. Tailing someone was better than nothing, he figured.

Their path wound through the city, a seemingly random route that only served to pique Val’s curiosity. For a moment at least, because he caught sight of a bar and lost his living trash can amidst the crowd as he craned his neck to see if he had been there before. Scowling, he shrugged and turned to the bar, resolving to assuage his newly returned boredom with some much needed alcohol.

A few hours later and Val was gripping the edges of the bar with a white-knuckled furiosity, determined to hang on and finish his drink. But the powers that be had decided to alter the laws of physics to spite him and the glass remained ever just out of reach. Defeat was finally admitted and he slapped a credit chip down, hoping the denomination was enough to cover it.

The chairs were quite magical, of a swiveling variety rather than the stationary, bolted-to-the-floor variety that he was familiar with. Making full use of the motion, he pushed off and turned, using the momentum to carry him off the stool and away from the bar. Fortunately, there a wall in the way and he stumbled towards it, slamming against it and sliding in a direction that was not sure was a lateral one. But it seemed to be and he slowly made progress towards his ultimate destination – the bathroom.

After the quick detour, he emerged victorious and made his way back to the bar. A little more solid on his feet, he only bounced off of the walls instead of sliding along them. That was surely progress in his mind because it meant he was actually up and walking more often.

And to his surprise, there was a new addition to the bar upon his return. As he sat down where he had previously left, to his immediate right was a young guy downing shots of some awfully colored substance that Val could only hope was alcohol. He looked clean and relatively well-kempt, though Val was honestly having trouble focusing on any sort of details, so he just hoped that he saw true. But if that was the case, it meant that he had just arrived. And for someone like himself to be in a bar like this meant that he was probably trying to keep a low-profile. Add in the number of shot glasses empty in front of him, which seemed like a lot though Val honestly couldn’t tell which were real and which were duplications, and it all pointed to trouble. Which was very interesting.

“Howdy.” Val refrained from his natural instinct to clap the man on the back and instead opted to just lean in close.

Val’s newfound companion flinched back and glanced at the bartender, a quick flash of fear giving way to confusion.

“Excuse me?” the man said, an eyebrow raising.

Val frowned, wondering how he couldn’t have understood a simple greeting, but was quickly reminded of sobriety, or lack thereof. Taking a moment to steel himself, he spoke slowly and repeated himself, trying to form the words in a natural order and manner rather than what he presumed had been drunken slurring. The result was not quite far off from the original slurring, but was still understandable.

The man blinked. “Oh. Hello.”

Nodding as if the response had been sage words of wisdom, Val pitched his voice a little lower and leaned in, forcing the man to mimic the action. “So, in a spot of trouble, are you?”

Despite Val’s assurance in his own abilities and perceptions, he knew he was pretty drunk and it had been a shot in the dark. However, he shot true and the man rocked back, eyes widening. A hand clenched and the other slipped down off the bar and to his side. Searching for his weapon, maybe.

And at the sound of a cough, one of the ones that isn’t actually real but is more of a polite way of getting one’s attention, a shiver wracked Val. He felt a coldness, an icy wave that rode through his veins.

Lovely.

A dawning horror crept across his companion’s face as he turned to the origin of the cough, a recognition of the death was soon to descend. Val turned to face a pistol in his face, held by what could only be a lackey. Only an idiot would get that close with a pistol. The man’s face screwed up and he began to sputter and Val realized that the last thought had been spoken out loud. As the lackey brought the gun back, presumably to smash it across Val’s face . . .

“Stop.”

There was a slight hesitation to the lackey and Val saw the hatred in the man’s eyes. The command was repeated and the lackey stepped back, gun returning to its outright position. The command giver stepped forward and scowled, looking at Val’s companion.

“Arty, Arty. My boy, what are you doing here? Hiding?”

Arty seemed unsure of how to answer, which was unfortunate because Val saw his chance to jump in.

“Who the hell are you and why are you messing with my friend?”

Boss-man looked from Arty to Val, before smiling, clearly amused. “Friend? Arty has never been to this planet before, or at least that’s what he told me, and has been here for barely any time at all. How long have you known your . . . friend? Tell me?”

Val pursed his lips, thinking for a moment. “Honestly? About thirty seconds? Maybe a little longer, depending on if you count our first meeting as me sitting down next to him or me first speaking to him.”

An incredulous look from Boss-man to Arty, and Boss-man laughed.

“Well, then. How is he your friend? Do you know anything about him? Because I can tell you all about little Arty here. He’s a cheat. A fraud. A shyster that stole my cargo from me and claimed that he –”

“That’s not true! I told you, I was boarded. And I didn’t take your cargo. I split it up across the ship and they only found a fraction of it. You got most of what you wanted and docked me accordingly. I thought that was it! I delivered most of it to the Star Destroyer like you wanted.” Arty broke in, pleading written across his face.

Anger on the Boss-man’s face and he scoffed. Stepping back, he gave a small wave.

“Kill them and take whatever you can get from their bodies. Maybe we can break even on this little snafu.”

Grinning, Idiot tightened his grip around his gun, not even paying Arty any attention. His finger tightened around the trigger, a barely perceptible movement. But Val was already moving. He began moving before the Boss-man’s sentence was already done. The situation was already processed in his mind and the conclusion had already been foreseen. The pieces were in place and everything was wound up nice and tight. All that needed to be done was to let it loose.

Calm. Focus. Everything of the past was a blank and everything of the future was an inevitability. No room for extraneous thoughts, not distractions. His movements were a little awkward because of the alcohol impairing his mobility, but it took him only an instant to account for that.

He stepped forward, knife appearing in his left hand. Sweeping his arm out, he caught Idiot’s gun and clamped his hand down around it, a vise unwilling to give. Hand up, knife under the chin, angled back towards himself to not kill the lackey right away. Val wanted him alive for a few moments so the body didn’t just drag him down.

The knife exited the man’s head right above his nostrils in a spew of blood, but it held and the man still stood under his own volition. The pain was a shock to the system and the man’s grip loosed on the gun. Snagging it, Val twisted it around, pivoting the rapidly developing corpse slightly to the side to catch a bolt as the other lackey finally perceived and reacted to what was happening.

Gun up under the body’s arm and one bolt took the other man in the throat. He went down with a gurgle. Stepping away from the first lackey, he tilted his grip up, dipping the head back and let it slid off of the knife. Moving to the second lackey, he put another bolt in his head, just to be safe.

Sliding his attention to the last threat, Val noticed that he had stopped to look over his shoulder. Poor judgement. The first bolt hit him in the shoulder and he spun, slamming the wall and sinking down. Val slightly disappointed that there was no blood trail left behind as he slumped down, but shrugged it off, recognizing that cleanliness was always helpful.

Motioning the wide-eyed Arty over, Val approached the Boss-man. Slumped down and motionless, the man looked dead. Val snorted. The idiot probably assumed that he could play dead and get the drop on his attacker. Making sure he was standing correctly with his gun free, Val leaned over to prod the man with his free hand. Immediately, the man lurched forward and attempted to grab Val’s arm, presumably with the intent and pulling him over and grappling him for control of the gun. Instead, Val just pulled the trigger, his gun already lined up with the man’s crotch.

Screaming, the man reacted predictably, letting go of Val and immediately cradling himself. Standing back up, he waved Arty closer, who had not moved even after Val’s initial wave. Tentatively, the man inched forward, eyes stuck on Val.

“I’m not going to hurt you. As long as you don’t try and do what these idiots did, at least. And after that demonstration, I think you know better. So, what do you want done with him?” He punctuated the last line with a stare at Arty.

“Uh, what do you mean?”

“Well, we can kill him. Or we can let him go. Or we can give him to the authorities around here?”

“There’s authorities around here?”

“Nah. That last one was a joke.”

“Oh.”

“But for real though. If you want, I can just kill him now. It’d be easier that way.”

“Uh.”

Val waited a few moments, before sighing and stepping away from the now whimpering man.

“Alright. You clearly are not used to this sort of thing. So here, take these credit chips and go negotiate with the bartender for a good price to cover the blood. Remember- hey, look at me.” Val grabbed him by the shoulder, gripping him firmly and capturing his attention, “Remember to get a good price. Don’t let him swindle you. That bastard is a dishonest, well, bastard. At least, I’m assuming. I’ve never actually met him, but it’s a good assumption to make. Anyway, take care of that. I’ll take care of the bodies.”

Patting Arty on the shoulder, he moved past and began the task of moving the bodies. Which mostly amounted to just dragging them outside and dumping them in a nearby alley. He did loot them. After all, these were his kills and he was rightly justified and taking the spoils of war. Or battle. Or skirmish. Or whatever the fuck that just was.

Dealing with the boss-man was pretty easy as well, fortunately. He was amenable to being moved and seemed a little broken. Val just tossed him on the bodies of his two lackeys and shot him in the head. He had a nice lighter on him, durasteel with an inlaid gold pattern. Pocketing it as he walked away, he started whistling a tune as he made his way back to the bar.

Arty seemed surprised to see him back for some reason and wordlessly handed over the remaining credit chips. Val didn’t bother to check them, assuming that Arty was a good lad. They stood there for a few moments while the bartender grumbled and mopped up the blood, before Val broke the silence.

“So, uh, you mentioned something about a Star Destroyer?”
Valthir
Dark Jedi Knight of the Dark Jedi Order (because we're just not Dark Jedi enough, we have to mention it twice)
Pirate Overseer of the mythical Osk Company (during one of those blue moons when it actually exists)

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